2008 Presidential Election, Race and Racism
Professor Vernellia Randall
Speaking Truth to Power!

McCain on Asian American Issues

 

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Asian  American Politics
http://www.asianam.org/index.htm
 

McCain voted against funding redress for Japanese-Americans
101st Congress, 1st Session, Sept 29, 1989, page S-12225 Temp. Record, Vote No. 219.

See below for McCain's positions on:
- Affirmative Action and Quotas
- Asian Pacific Americans the candidate has hired, appointed
or supported for election
- Employment discrimination, glass ceilings
- Making English the official language of the U.S.
- Foreign Policy toward China, Taiwan, India
, Japan, Korea, Vietnam .   Missile defense system to protect Japan , Taiwan , or South Korea
- Hate Crimes.  Legislation increasing penalties for hate crimes.
- Immigration
- Voting rights and providing ballots in different languages. 


Affirmative Action and Quotas

Opposes racial preferences.  2/5/00 Dallas Morning News, p.27A.

 

Asian Pacific Americans the candidate has hired, appointed or supported for election

The McCains adopted a girl from Bangladesh .

McCain promised a convention of minority journalists that if he became president, he would absolutely and unequivocally name an Asian-American to his Cabinet.   2/5/00 Dallas Morning News, p.27A.

 

Employment discrimination, glass ceilings

No information yet

 

Making English the official language of the U.S.

Voted Yes
To amend title 4 United States Code, to declare English as the national language of the United States and to promote the patriotic integration of prospective US citizens.
May 18, 2006, vote 131, Senate Amendment 4064 to S. 2611


6/3/07 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College
http://www.ontheissues.org/International/John_McCain_Immigration.htm

Q: Is there someone here who doesn't believe English should be the official language of the US ?

McCain: I would like to remind you that we made treaties with Native Americans, such as the Navajos in my state, where we respect their sovereignty and they use their native language in their deliberations. Everybody knows that English has to be learned if anyone ever wants to move up the economic ladder. That is obvious. And part of our legislation, by the way, is a requirement to learn English.

8/12/07 FoxNews.com: "New Hampshire Voters Confront John McCain on Immigration,"
    Conway , N.H.  Frustration over illegal immigration followed Sen. John McCain on Sunday as he finished up a three-day campaign trip to eastern New Hampshire .
    At a VFW hall in Conway, a woman who had questioned McCain the night before in Wolfeboro confronted him again, pushing him to support making English the nation's official language.
    "I'm terribly concerned there's real danger we're going to lose our country from within," said the woman, who refused to give her name. "Even if we make English the national language, what difference does it make if you can vote (in Spanish), if where everywhere you go, the hospitals are obliged to provide interpreters? We need one language."
    McCain said he believes more must be done to require immigrants to learn English, but matched her suspicions with some of his trademark straight talk.
"I'd also like to tell you that in my state of Arizona , we like the Hispanic heritage. We like the food. We like the music. We like to have Hispanic influence on our state and we are enriched by it," he said, reminding her that similar fears greeted waves of Irish, Polish and other immigrants in generations past. "I understand your concern that our traditions and our culture and background are being overwhelmed by another culture, but I believe we're stronger than that."

 

Foreign Policy.  Like Americans of African, Cuban, Greek, Irish, Italian, Jewish, Mexican, and Polish descent, many APA's are interested in American foreign policy toward the country of their ancestors.

U.S. policy toward China and Taiwan

2/23/07: www.johnmccain.com: Remarks As Prepared For Delivery:  Senator John McCain At The Seattle World Affairs Council:

"And to talk about the Asian economies is to speak of China . I know some of our citizens fear the specter of Chinese economic growth, worrying that it will result in the loss of American jobs and the inability of our economy to compete. Others take the opposite view, trumpeting China 's vast market potential, low labor costs, and exports, which allow American manufacturers to move up the value chain. America benefits from China 's economic growth. But by the same token, its rising prosperity also raises legitimate expectations that China will behave as a responsible economic partner.

"As Chinese businesses 'go global,' we must insist that they operate in an open, fair, and transparent manner, with sound, internationally-accepted standards for corporate governance. We should push Beijing to adopt a market-determined value for its currency, ensuring that trade is conducted on a level financial playing field. We need to convey to China that its go-it-alone approach to locking up energy supplies is unlikely to be either effective or sustainable, and that its environmental stewardship cannot fall prey to its economic ambitions.

"In these cases, there is significant room for economic cooperation. The U.S. and China have a mutual interest in developing new and diverse energy supplies, improving energy efficiency, and developing environmentally sustainable energy alternatives. U.S. trade and investment in China 's undeveloped rural areas can help create the broad-based growth Chinese leaders seek. China's rapidly aging society would benefit from U.S. private-sector involvement in building health care and pension systems, while Beijing's steps toward banking and financial reform will, if fully implemented, create new business opportunities for American companies. Finally, China 's desire to construct a "knowledge economy" implies a mutual interest in protecting intellectual property and preventing counterfeiting.

"As important as all these steps are, the future trajectory of our economies lies not only in effective economic policymaking, new business opportunities, and the management of financial risks. Security and economic growth are intimately connected, and a threat to peace is a threat to prosperity. The overarching security challenge in Asia today is to preserve and extend American leadership, and to do so in a way that promotes the emergence of freer and increasingly open societies.

"This last point brings us to the elephant in any Asian discussion room, and that is the rise of China . New prosperity in China has brought more people out of poverty, faster, than at any time in human history. We welcome China 's rise, but its newfound power implies responsibilities, both foreign and domestic. Beijing should know that reactions to its rapid ascendancy are likely to be mixed, especially throughout East Asia . It can and should work to alleviate these concerns by actively contributing to the rules and norms of the international system.

"Chinese leaders often remark that theirs will be a 'peaceful rise,' one that presents no threats to other countries. Beijing could bolster this claim by increasing the transparency of its significant military buildup. When China builds new submarines, adds hundreds of new jet fighters, modernizes its strategic ballistic missile arsenal, and tests anti-satellite weapons, the U.S. will inevitably question such provocative acts. When China enjoys close economic and diplomatic relations with Iran , Sudan , Zimbabwe and Burma - at the same time that the western democracies are seeking to isolate their leadership - it will cause predictable frictions in our relationship with Beijing . And when China proposes regional forums and economic arrangements designed to exclude American influence from Asia, the U.S. will naturally respond with its own diplomatic efforts.

"This is not to say that China and the United States are destined to be adversaries. On the contrary, we should take every step to manage our relations and look for areas of overlapping interest. Concern with Chinese foreign policy, and dismay at its domestic practices will, however, cloud the bright possibilities. New prosperity in China has not brought with it the kinds of civic and political reforms that many in the U.S. and Europe expected. Today, China remains a one-party state lacking the freedoms of religion, association, and speech. As Americans, we are obligated to speak out forcefully against repression wherever it occurs, and actively encourage China to emerge as the stable, vibrant, democratic and free nation its people deserve.

"We see such a success story in Taiwan , whose people no longer comprise a one-party state. I am pleased that the United States helped bring Taiwan into APEC and the World Trade Organization, and it is inspiring to see this vibrant democracy deal with its numerous security challenges. And while the government of Taiwan must not needlessly precipitate a crisis, we have to make clear to China 's leaders that attempts to isolate Taiwan internationally or militarily coerce it are unwise. Pointing nearly 900 missiles at Taiwan , passing laws authorize force against the island, and continually practicing amphibious landings are not prudent ways to convince the world of China 's peaceful rise.

"In this spirit, it is worth pausing to reflect on a remarkable fact: more people live under democratic rule in Asia than in any other region of the world. In the last two decades alone, South Korea , Taiwan , the Philippines , Mongolia , and Indonesia have joined the ranks of free nations. The next century will be marked not only by the rise of new economic and military powers but also the growing embrace by Asian peoples of universal values of political freedom and the rule of law. Japan 's prime minister speaks today of an 'arc of freedom and prosperity' stretching across Asia, and calls for Australia , India , and America to work with his country to help create it. We should seize the opportunity.

"Across Asia, people are asserting anew that all of humanity wants the simple elements of life that we in America seek: the freedom, security, and prosperity that allow us, through our talents and industry, to make a better future for ourselves and our families. In Australia , the Prime Minster emphasizes that his country's alliance with ours is based not simply on tanks and planes, but first and foremost on shared values. In India , the Prime Minister has called liberal democracy 'the natural order of social and political organization in today's world,' and authoritarian regimes 'an aberration.' In these words we detect the stirrings of truly a new century, one that is both American and Asian, safe and secure, prosperous and free.


9/9/99 Dallas Morning News, p.4A.
  McCain said President Clinton should warn China that the U.S. is prepared to "counter acts of aggression" against Taiwan .  "I'd make it clear that the price of aggression would be far higher than any short-term gain," the Arizona senator said. 

9/3/99 WSJ, p. 11A.  McCain said the U.S. should be ready to use force to defend Taiwan 's independence from China .  "I don't want to directly threaten China [but] I don't think the U.S. should sit by and watch that kind of aggression." 

4/8/99 WSJ, p. A19.  "The forces [in Europe and Asia ] should be maintained at this time.   In both parts of the world, the U.S. military presence is a force for stability, peace, economic development and the furtherance of democracy." 

4/8/99 WSJ, p. A19. "It is in the best interests of the U.S. to have China as a peaceful economic developing trade partner; we have every right to expect them to live up to standards of international behavior - like respect for property rights - and expect improvements in their human rights record.  What is needed most in our relations with China is a consistent foreign policy." 

U.S. policy toward India

2/23/07: www.johnmccain.com: Remarks As Prepared For Delivery:  Senator John McCain At The Seattle World Affairs Council: India 's economy may grow faster than China 's in 2007, illustrating the importance of securing greater U.S. market access to this economy of a billion consumers.

" America also has a compelling interest in a closer strategic partnership with India . As the world's largest democracies, with vibrant economies, the United States and India should be natural allies. We share a range of vital security interests and America should welcome the rise of a confident, prosperous India that will help manage the globe's security challenges. We have differences, to be sure, but Prime Minister Singh's declaration that the 'idea of India ' is 'the idea of an inclusive and open society,' sounds to American ears like a description of our own democratic tradition. And India 's own history demonstrates that liberal democracy is the firmest foundation for achieving humanity's most basic aspirations.

"In this spirit, it is worth pausing to reflect on a remarkable fact: more people live under democratic rule in Asia than in any other region of the world. In the last two decades alone, South Korea , Taiwan , the Philippines , Mongolia , and Indonesia have joined the ranks of free nations. The next century will be marked not only by the rise of new economic and military powers but also the growing embrace by Asian peoples of universal values of political freedom and the rule of law. Japan 's prime minister speaks today of an 'arc of freedom and prosperity' stretching across Asia, and calls for Australia , India , and America to work with his country to help create it. We should seize the opportunity.

"Across Asia, people are asserting anew that all of humanity wants the simple elements of life that we in America seek: the freedom, security, and prosperity that allow us, through our talents and industry, to make a better future for ourselves and our families. In Australia , the Prime Minster emphasizes that his country's alliance with ours is based not simply on tanks and planes, but first and foremost on shared values. In India , the Prime Minister has called liberal democracy 'the natural order of social and political organization in today's world,' and authoritarian regimes 'an aberration.' In these words we detect the stirrings of truly a new century, one that is both American and Asian, safe and secure, prosperous and free.


2/23/07: www.johnmccain.com: Remarks As Prepared For Delivery:  Senator John McCain At The Seattle World Affairs Council:

"As we tackle this and other security challenges, we should work in ever closer cooperation with our key allies in Asia . Japan in the north and Australia in the south form two vital pillars of American strategy, and they have been close and valued partners for many years.

"Over the past decade, our alliance with Japan has become a global partnership, and Japan has made important contributions to military campaigns in Afghanistan , Iraq , and the broader war on terror. More recently, Tokyo has adopted a 'value-oriented diplomacy' that seeks to promote freedom, human rights, and the rule of law in Asia and beyond. America should support these efforts, welcome Japan 's further emergence as global power, and support its bid to win a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

 

U.S. policy toward Korea

2/23/07: www.johnmccain.com: Remarks As Prepared For Delivery:  Senator John McCain At The Seattle World Affairs Council:

And the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement, which is currently under negotiation, promises not only economic benefits - South Korea is our seventh largest trading partner - but political ones as well: a bilateral FTA will help give economic ballast to our strategic relationship and thereby strengthen America 's security posture in Asia .

"A glance at the headlines indicates the foremost security challenge to Asia today, and that is in North Korea . Pyongyang 's development of nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them, together with its obscene human rights record, presents a real challenge to the security and the consciences of America and our Asian allies.

"Last week, the Bush administration and its partners in the six party talks announced a new agreement that would supply energy to North Korea in exchange for its steps toward denuclearization. I will admit up front to some concerns about the future of this accord. I believe that, to be effective, any new agreement must avoid the flaws of the Clinton Administration's 1994 Agreed Framework, which provided North Korea with energy and economic assistance but allowed it to retain plutonium for nuclear weapons.

"In the 1990s, while the international community was attempting to negotiate an end to North Korea 's nuclear efforts, Kim Jong Il was secretly engaged in a separate program to enrich uranium. After America confronted his regime with this fact, Pyongyang expelled international inspectors, pulled out of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, reprocessed nuclear material, and tested both ballistic missiles and a nuclear weapon.

"Last week's agreement might be a first step on the path to a denuclearized Korean peninsula, but that is far from certain. It is unclear whether North Korea is now truly committed to real verification, a full accounting of all nuclear materials and facilities, both plutonium- and uranium-based, and the full denuclearization that must be the essence of any lasting agreement. As we observe in the weeks ahead whether Pyongyang is taking initial steps toward disarmament and sealing its Yongbyon reactor, let us proceed cautiously. America and our partners must ensure that Pyongyang does not merely engage in a 'temporary suspension' of nuclear activities, as its officials have already suggested, and we must insist that future talks take into account both North Korea's ballistic missile programs and the abduction issue that is so important to our Japanese ally. We also need to verify, before we remove North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, that Pyongyang has in fact ceased all support for terrorism.

"Our alliance with South Korea has kept the peace on the Korean peninsula for over half a century. But today we, along with our partners in Seoul , have much work to do to make sure the alliance remains robust. We are grateful for Seoul 's deployment of troops to Iraq , and admire South Korea 's transformation into a prosperous democracy. We must now work together to alleviate the suffering of the North Korean people, deter aggression, and build a better, brighter future for all Korean people, North and South.

"In this spirit, it is worth pausing to reflect on a remarkable fact: more people live under democratic rule in Asia than in any other region of the world. In the last two decades alone, South Korea , Taiwan , the Philippines , Mongolia , and Indonesia have joined the ranks of free nations. The next century will be marked not only by the rise of new economic and military powers but also the growing embrace by Asian peoples of universal values of political freedom and the rule of law. Japan 's prime minister speaks today of an 'arc of freedom and prosperity' stretching across Asia, and calls for Australia , India , and America to work with his country to help create it. We should seize the opportunity.

"Across Asia, people are asserting anew that all of humanity wants the simple elements of life that we in America seek: the freedom, security, and prosperity that allow us, through our talents and industry, to make a better future for ourselves and our families. In Australia , the Prime Minster emphasizes that his country's alliance with ours is based not simply on tanks and planes, but first and foremost on shared values. In India , the Prime Minister has called liberal democracy 'the natural order of social and political organization in today's world,' and authoritarian regimes 'an aberration.' In these words we detect the stirrings of truly a new century, one that is both American and Asian, safe and secure, prosperous and free.

 

U.S. policy toward Vietnam

2/23/07: www.johnmccain.com: Remarks As Prepared For Delivery:  Senator John McCain At The Seattle World Affairs Council:

"Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, we have increased defense cooperation with countries such as the Philippines , Singapore , and Vietnam . These are valued partners in guaranteeing security throughout the region. But our relationships with these nations must be about more than military ties alone. Many of the countries of Southeast Asia are young democracies under siege; others have not yet democratized. The United States should work with the region's willing nations to promote democracy, defeat the threat posed by radical Islam, end the Burmese junta's human rights abuses, and ensure that China 's influence in Southeast Asia complements our goals there.

2/15/00 Dallas Morning News, p. 6A.  In 1994, McCain favored normalizing relations with Vietnam

 

Missile defense system to protect Japan , Taiwan , or South Korea

10/18/07 Council on Foreign Relations (www.cfr.org): McCain has also backed national missile defense program development.

 

Hate Crimes.  Legislation increasing penalties for hate crimes.

7/23/99 Dallas Morning News, p. 14A, 8/10/99 DMN, p. 15A: Supports S.622IS, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 1999, passed unanimously by the Senate.  Current law covers crimes motivated by the victim's race, color, religion, or national origin, and the federal government can prosecute if the victim was on federal property or engaged in a federally protected activity such as going to school.  The proposed law includes people victimized because of their sexual orientation, gender or disability, and would cover any incident related to interstate commerce, such as use of a gun made in another state. 

 

Immigration

Another reason for Asian Americans to vote for McCain
12/20/07 Associated Press: "Tancredo drops WH bid, endorses Romney,"
by Michael Crumb
    Des Moines, Iowa - Rep. Tom Tancredo, who built his longshot presidential campaign on opposition to illegal immigration, dropped out Thursday and endorsed Republican rival Mitt Romney as the best man to carry on the fight. 
    He said he decided to drop out in part because of concern that staying in could split the vote for other candidates who have taken a hard line on immigration, helping those who would take a less restrictive approach.
    Tancredo identified former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Arizona Sen. John McCain as two Republican candidates whose records indicate they wouldn't be tough enough on immigration.

12/10/2007 Miami Herald: “A softer tone in bilingual debate: GOP presidential candidates keep it polite and avoid confrontations on illegal immigration at a bilingual debate at the University of Miami,”
by Beth Reinhard and Laura Figueroa
    Facing a Spanish-speaking national audience for the first time, the Republican presidential candidates soft-pedaled their hard-line stances on immigration and sidestepped questions about the estimated 12 million undocumented workers already living in the United States.
    McCain's support for legislation in Congress that would have allowed undocumented workers to earn legal status was widely blamed for the downturn in his campaign over the summer. But in front of the immigrant-friendly audience, his position amounted to a home field advantage. ''We learned Americans want the borders secure first,'' said the Arizona senator.
    ``We have to address this issue with compassion and love because these are human beings.''
    McCain and Hunter were the only two candidates who accepted the original invitation from Univisión to debate on Sept. 16. But Sunday, the entire field expressed gratitude for the opportunity.
    Giuliani offered a sharp contrast to Paul's statement that the U.S. should reached out to Chávez in ''friendship.'' Giuliani said he agreed with King Juan Carlos of Spain, who responded to a Chávez insult by saying: ``Why don't you shut up?''
    McCain said it in Spanish: ``Por qué no te callas?''

5/23/07 Associated Press: “Giuliani Criticizes Immigration Bill Backed By McCain,”
    White River Junction, VT - Arizona Sen. John McCain, a co-sponsor of the bill being debated by Congress, defended the measure against attacks from his rivals for the Republican nomination, saying it is needed to protect the country from terrorism.
    "People who grew up in London, people who have spent most of their lives in the United States, have somehow become induced to be terrorists and that argues strongly for accounting for and bringing under control a situation where 12 million people are in our country illegally," McCain said in back-to-back conference calls with reporters in early voting states.
    The immigration bill calls for tightening border security, granting legal status to nearly all the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants, and increasing penalties for employers who hire illegal workers.
    It would create a point system for future immigration applicants that would place less emphasis on family connections and more on education and skills in demand by U.S. businesses.
    Earlier this week, McCain knocked former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's opposition to the legislation, saying his solution to illegal immigration might be "to get out his small varmint gun and drive those Guatemalans off his lawn." A landscaping company handling work at Romney's home reported had at illegal immigrants on the payroll.


3/6/07 New Hampshire Union Leader: “John McCain: On immigration, Washington is failing the American people,”
By Sen. John McCain

Among the federal government's most important obligations is to secure America's borders and enforce sensible immigration laws that will keep our nation strong and safe. For far too long, Washington has failed miserably in this vital responsibility. An estimated 12 million people live in the United States illegally -- a problem affecting every state in the union.

Coming from a border state, I have seen firsthand the effect that illegal immigration has on our communities and public services, the rampant exploitation of those who traffic in illegal aliens, and the tragic loss of life that so often attends this enduring problem. As a country devoted to the rule of law, fairness and opportunity, the status quo is simply unacceptable. We know that most illegal aliens are drawn to the United States in the hope of finding a better life for themselves and their families. Many of our own ancestors came for the very same reason. But we also know that others come to do America harm and will exploit any weakness or loophole to achieve their malignant objectives.

The truth is that our nation's porous borders and failed immigration policies are a national disgrace, adversely affecting both our economic prospects and national security. A comprehensive immigration control plan that works is long overdue.

To achieve our objectives, America needs the strong reform I've proposed that will:

Vastly improve our border surveillance and enforcement capabilities;

Increase the manpower, infrastructure and capabilities necessary to block, apprehend, detain and return those who try to enter the country illegally;

Strengthen the laws and penalties against those who hire illegal aliens and violate immigration law;

Achieve and maintain the integrity of official documents to stop fraud, verify immigration status and employment, and enforce immigration law;

Encourage immigrants to come out of the shadows so we know who is in this country and develop a sensible guest worker program that will serve the nation's best economic and security interests.

We must devote the resources necessary to do the job right, and our efforts must be sustained. Imagine what we could achieve if we spent less money on pork barrel schemes such as "bridges to nowhere" and more on enforcing our immigration laws and other homeland security imperatives.

The need to bring illegal immigrants out of hiding and end the defacto amnesty that is the status quo is more important than ever in this post-9/11 era of terrorist threat. But this effort must never entail giving away citizenship to those who have broken our laws. Rather it should require those who voluntarily come forward to undertake the hard work of reparation and assimilation that we expect.

Legitimate status must be earned by paying stiff fines and back taxes, undergoing criminal and security checks, passing English and civics tests, remaining employed for six years before going to the back of the line to achieve legal permanent residence status, and adhering to other strict requirements.

Such a program is necessary if we are to protect our country from terrorism and crime by enabling the Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement to focus their resources more effectively where they are most needed, and that is on those who choose to remain hidden because they mean to do us harm.

Above all we must be honest and realistic if we are to achieve both the economic and national security we desire. The straight talk of the matter is that as long as there are jobs in the United States that would otherwise go unfilled, illegal immigrants will come, and the economy will eagerly absorb them, no matter what the obstacles. We are willfully abetting a system that is broken and invites the violation of our immigration laws, the manipulation of vulnerable populations and a degradation of national security.

Rather than tolerating the continued chaos promised by business as usual, we need an orderly system that matches jobs that would otherwise go wanting with a well managed guest worker program that ensures we know exactly who our guests are, why they are here, and for how long. Border security and immigration reform must go hand- in -hand. History has shown us that one will simply never succeed without the other.

I truly believe that Americans want and demand that our leaders work together to solve pressing problems rather than persist in empty rhetoric and petty political gamesmanship. By staying true to our principles, exercising common sense and American resolve, we are up to the job of controlling our borders, keeping our economy on the rise, and making the nation safe in an exceedingly dangerous world.


Introduced bipartisan bill with Senator Edward Kennedy to create an essential worker visa to fill unfilled low-skill jobs and a temporary visa as long as 6 years for immigrants already in U.S.   5/19/05 WSJ, p. A4.

Supported immigration of Vietnamese to the U.S.   2/25/00 Dallas Morning News, p. 19A.

"I am a strong supporter of legal immigration as a source of strength for America ." 4/8/99 WSJ, p. A19.

McCain opposes a constitutional amendment to deny citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.  7/25/99 Dallas Morning News, p. 5J.

"McCain now is sponsoring a bipartisan bill to restore health benefits for more children of non-citizens and pregnant women." 7/25/99 Dallas Morning News, p. 5J.

McCain opposes removing the children of illegal immigrants from public schools.  7/25/99 Dallas Morning News, p. 5J.

McCain voted to restore welfare benefits for certain legal immigrants: children, the elderly and disabled (bill S.1150, vote 129, May 12, 1998) but only when it was obvious the Senate was going to pass the bill.  McCain voted to send the bill back to the conference committee, an effort which failed (bill S.1150, vote 128, May 12, 1998).

 

Voting rights and providing ballots in different languages. 

In 2006, voted for renewal of National Voting Rights Act.

 


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